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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for the ‘Curatorial’ Category

Holiday Nights Decorating Teams 2016

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 16, 2016

More than 100 decorators turned out for the installation of Holiday Nights at Edison Ford. They represented over a dozen different businesses, groups, and organizations. Over a several day period, they worked tirelessly on the historically correct decorations under the watchful eye of Mike Cosden, Vice President of Interpretation, and the Curatorial Department. Thanks to everyone who lent their talents and time!

American Institute of Architects Florida Southwest, Bennett’s Fresh Roast, Edison Park Neighborhood Association, Edison Festival of Lights, Florida Power and Light, Florida Weekly, Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, General Electric, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Hope Hospice, LCEC, Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Norris Home Furnishings, The Open Door Shops on Hendry Street, Sanibel-Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, Shell Point Retirement Community, St. James City Volunteers with Brinson Family, Thomas A. Edison Congregational Church, WGCU Public Media, Winn-Dixie.


Edison Ford Volunteer Meeting and Lecture

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 11, 2016

● December 13, 10:00 a.m. – Recreating Henry Ford’s 1896 Quadricycle – Lecture Hall in South Florida Water Management Building

Join Automotive Curator, James Moss, as he speaks about building a replica of
Henry Ford’s first vehicle, the Quadricycle. A brief video detailing the process will also
be shared. At the end of the meeting, volunteers will be able to view the progress made
on the Quadricycle replica!

Volunteer Meetings are open to current and potential volunteers. For more
information on how to become a volunteer, contact Holly Shaffer or Bobby Feldman,
Volunteer Coordinators at 239-334-7419, or download the application here.

Ford on Quadricycle


“Ask the Curator” – Wednesdays – 11:30 a.m.

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 7, 2016
  • ask-the-curator-dec-2016December 7 – Who Invented Electric Christmas Lights? Learn about the history of
    Christmas lights with Curatorial Registrar, Matt Andres.
  • December 14 – Home for the Holidays. Explore some of the Edison and Ford
    holiday traditions with Curator, Brent Newman.
  • December 21 – Holiday Wrap-Up! Discover some of the earliest styles and patterns of
    Christmas gift wrap with Vice President of Interpretation, Mike Cosden.
  • December 28 – What is a Model TT Ford? Learn about the Model TT Ford with Automotive Curator, James Moss.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members included with admission.


“Ask the Curator” – Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 31, 2016
  • edison kinetoscope or kinetographNovember 2 – Who were Edison’s Children? Find out more about Edison’s children with Curatorial Registrar Matt Andres.
  • November 9 – Lights, Camera, Action. Explore Edison’s role in creating the motion picture industry with Vice President of Interpretation Mike Cosden.
  • November 16 – How many steps in starting a Model T Ford? Join Automotive     Curator James Moss for a demonstration of the 1923 Ford Model T.
  • November 23 – How did Edison cement his legacy in the home   building industry? Explore Edison’s contributions to the cement industry with Curator Brent Newman.
  • tin-goose-planeNovember 30 – What was the “Tin-Goose”? Find out more about Ford’s connections to the Aviation Sector with Curatorial Volunteer & Aviation Historian Tim Neill.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members included with admission.


Edison Ford Video Series Now Available

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 20, 2016

In the past two months, Edison Ford staff have produced two videos which kick off a new effort to document both the history and the future direction of the site:

  • walter sheppart picAn oral history of Walter Sheppard, past Edison Ford Board Chair and Florida State Legislator, has been completed. This marks the beginning of an effort to collect the experiences of board members and others who have been integral to the development of the site.
  • quadricycle building a replica video seriesBuilding a Replica: The 1896 Ford Quadricycle details the ongoing project to build a replica of Henry Ford’s first vehicle,
    the quadricycle. This video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the research, planning, fabrication and assembly of this
    one-of-a-kind replica.

Both videos will be made available soon. Watch our Facebook page for more information on these and future videos!

Film Screening and New Exhibit Opening October 28

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 15, 2016

Exciting Night Under the Stars – “Wind Across the Everglades” Film Screening – October 28, Gates Open at 5:30 p.m.

wind across the everglades film stripJoin us for an evening under the stars for the film viewing of “Wind Across the Everglades” on the Ford riverside lawn. This 1958 classic film is about plume hunting in the Florida Everglades and the people who risked their lives to protect the birds.

The film’s main character is a newly-hired game warden, played by Christopher Plummer, who is hired to enforce conservation laws in Florida but finds himself up against a group of bird poachers. The story is based on Guy Bradley’s life – the game warden who was shot and killed by plume hunters in 1905. The characters depict what life was like in South Florida at the turn of the century and how hunters would not let anyone get in their way of collecting the bird feathers, which at that time were reportedly worth more than gold!

The movie was filmed on location in Everglades National Park. It’s filled with beautiful nature footage of birds roosting and flying, plus alligators and other Everglades wildlife. The cast includes Chana Eden, Peter Falk, Emmett Kelly and Gypsy Rose Lee in addition to Burl Ives and Christopher Plummer. Renowned screenwriter, Bwind across the everglades Stuart Schulbergudd Schulberg (Oscar-winner for “On the Waterfront”), supervised editing and completed film direction and production. K. C. Schulberg, a third-generation film executive, nephew of Budd Schulberg and son of the film’s producer, Stuart Schulberg, will speak about the film’s production.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $10; non-members $20. Movie goer refreshments will be available for purchase. A limited number of chairs will be provided; however, guests may bring a chair. For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

NEW Exhibit Opens October 28th – Birds of Southwest Florida

birds of southwest florida exhibit posterThe evening begins with a new exhibit opening in the Edison Caretaker’s house. The Birds of Southwest Florida exhibit honors one of the passions of both the Edison and Ford families who were ardent bird lovers and advocates. Visitors will learn about the Edison and Ford families love of nature, their responses to plume hunting and other threats, and the conservation efforts that they passionately supported.

This new exhibit was designed by Edison Ford staff and explores the Edison and Ford families love of birds and birding through historic photographs and illustrations. Throughout the exhibit, the photography and artwork pieces are described in the Edison and Ford families very own words.

Mina Edison was a dedicated conservationist, a member of the National Audubon Society and the Chautauqua Bird, Tree and Garden Club. In 1931, Mina encouraged the City Council to work toward a Fort Myers, “fragrant with flowers from every home [and] … adequate care for birds so that they would be loath to leave.” In 1913, Henry Ford supported the successful McLean Migratory Bird Bill (also known as the Weeks-McClean law), which protected migratory birds.

This wonderful exhibit is included with general admission. For more information call 239-334-7419.


“Ask the Curator” – Wednesdays – 11:30 a.m.

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 2, 2016
  • edison with model cement houseOctober 5 – How did Edison cement his legacy in the home building industry? Explore Edison’s contributions to the cement industry with Curator Brent Newman.
  • October 12 – What was Edison’s first patent? On October 13, 1868, Edison applied for his very first patent – do you know what it was for? Learn more with Registrar Matt Andres.
  • edison throwing baseballOctober 19 – Take me out to the ballgame! What was Edison’s favorite sport?  Join Site Program Manager Holly Shaffer for a sporting discussion!
  • October 26 – What is the connection between Ford and Cadillac? Discover the story behind two divergent automotive legacies with Automotive Curator James Moss.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members Museum and Lab ticket.

Mark Your Calendars – Film Screening and Exhibit Opening

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 20, 2016

October 28, 2016 – 5:30 p.m.

Did you know that both the Edison and Ford families had a fondness for local birdlife? Two exciting events will take place to honor their shared interest:

  • A new original exhibit, Birds of Southwest Florida, will open in the Edison Caretaker’s House. A brief lecture will detail the creation of this exhibit, via historic photographs, artwork, and objects.
  • Immediately following, a screening of the classic 1958 film Wind Across the Everglades will take place on the Ford lawn. This adventure film chronicles the tragic era of bird plume hunting in the Florida Everglades.

Wind Across the Everglades features a uniquely star-studded  cast, including Burl Ives and Christopher Plummer. KC Schulberg, a third-generation film executive and nephew of writer Budd Schulberg, will speak about the production of the movie.

wind across the everglades poster

Ask the Curator

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 3, 2016

Wednesdays – NEW Time 11:30 a.m.

  • power station cartoonSeptember 7 When was America’s first power station built? Learn about Edison’s Pearl Street Station with Assistant Curator Brent Newman.
  • September 14 Are electric vehicles a new phenomenon? Learn about the electrifying race that captured America’s attention with Chief Curator Mike Cosden.
  • September 21 Say What?  Learn about the various types of phonograph horns with Senior Site Historian Jim Niccum and Registrar Matt Andres.
  • ford chuckwagonSeptember 28 Who’s ready for a road trip?  Explore the 1918 Model T Roadster (“Chuck wagon”) with Automotive Curator James Moss.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; included with admission.

Visiting Phonograph Expert to Present at the Edison Ford Museum

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 28, 2016
  • john kurdyla aug 2016Tuesdays and Fridays through September 2

        Phonograph expert and guest curator John Kurdyla will present special programs on the phonograph. A resident of Padua, Italy, Mr. Kurdyla’s expertise and engaging demonstrations have been a favorite of Edison Ford visitors for several years.

Edison Ford curators will also demonstrate the Edison Ediphone business machines, record “dictation,” and listen to old recordings.

These special presentations will be given on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the “Music & Movies” gallery of the museum. FREE with admission.